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J Cell Sci. 2002 Jan 1;115(Pt 1):9-14.

The tubby-like proteins, a family with roles in neuronal development and function.

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The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.


The identification of a mutation at the tubby (Tub) locus, which causes obesity and neurosensory degeneration, led to the discovery of the tubby-like proteins (TULPs). Tub and the genes that encode three tubby-like proteins (TULP1- TULP3) form a novel, small gene family that plays an important role in maintenance and function of neuronal cells during development and post-differentiation. Although exploration of the molecular function of these genes is still in its infancy, recent biochemical studies have provided 'entry points' into pathways whose elucidation will further our understanding of TULP action. In addition, mRNA expression and translocation of the TUB protein have been shown to be regulated by thyroid hormone and by G-protein-coupled receptor signaling, respectively. These latter findings may help to link the cellular function of TUB to known mechanisms for energy homeostasis.

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